Nigel Huddleston and Neil McArthur back Safer Gambling Week 2020

Nigel Huddleston MP, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, and UK Gambling Commission Chief Executive, Neil McArthur, have committed to raising awareness of responsible gambling by backing this year’s Safer Gambling Week.

Taking place from 19 -25 November, Safer Gambling Week 2020 is led by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), The Bingo Association (BA) and the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (bacta). 

The initiative has also received the support of the Association of Irish Bookmakers, as well as campaign partners and 210 Official Supporting organisations.

Showing his support for the campaign, Huddleston said: “Gambling operators have a responsibility to keep customers safe from harm. I’m pleased that the industry is coming together to recognise the importance of clear and consistent safer gambling messaging and to help those who need it find support.”

During the week, operators will promote consistent messages and branding in venues, online and on social media, which will ‘drive the national conversation’ on safer gambling practices. 

McArthur added: “We welcome the emphasis on safer gambling and it is encouraging to see operators from all sectors collaborating to raise awareness of the need to put consumer safety at the heart of everything they do.”

Let’s Talk About Safer Gambling remains the strapline of Safer Gambling Week 2020. With more partners committing to the initiative this year, the aim will be to ‘build on and add to the work that operators and other organisations undertake throughout the year’.

The key messages that will be promoted this year include:

  • Ask yourself…  have you carried on past your spending limit?
  • Just a heads up… it’s good to set yourself limits
  • Just a heads up…  it’s easy to lose track of time when gambling
  • Play smart…  know when to stop
  • Remember…  friends and family are more important than gambling
  • Remember…  gambling is not a way to make money

“We are delighted to be supporting this year’s Safer Gambling Week,” commented Michael Dugher, Chief Executive, Betting and Gaming Council. “We have made huge strides at the BGC in our first year in raising standards, including a requirement that at least 20% of all TV and radio betting ads are safer gambling messaging, cooling off periods on gaming machines, encouraging deposit limits, new ID and age verification checks and massively increasing funding for research, education and treatment. 

“But we are eager to go further – and look forward to working with the Government on the Gambling Review to introduce further changes that ensure that the millions of people who enjoy an occasional flutter, do so enjoyably and safely.”

Miles Baron, Chief Executive, The Bingo Association, added: ”Safer Gambling Week is an important part of the bingo industry’s commitment to social responsibility and provides a useful focal point for highlighting activity and support that is available throughout the year. 

“Despite the challenges faced by operators in the sector with physical premises, we remain committed to raising awareness of safer gambling and Safer Gambling Week. The support from the Minister and Commission is welcomed and I am sure will encourage yet wider participation in this important campaign.”

John White, Chief Executive of bacta, concluded: “Safer Gambling Week gives the industry a great opportunity not only to highlight to customers the information and support that is available throughout the year and how we help ensure they gamble more safely but also for operators and staff to reassess what they do and how they do it in delivering safer ambling messages to customers and helping them find support should they need it.”

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